OPINION: The continuing name suppression of Grace Millane's killer is grossly unfair on the grieving family

OPINION: Today's news that Grace Millane's killer has had his name suppression extended will be a cruel blow to the family of the British backpacker. 

The Court of Appeal on Friday rejected Millane's killer's appeal to have his conviction and sentence overturned, which meant his name suppression would lapse at 11am. 

However because he has now applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal decision, the name suppression will remain in place.

When he does lose name suppression there will be a frenzy of stories about him. There will be interviews with people who knew him about what he was like. 

He will be in the spotlight once again and to have had that happen just before Christmas is cruel. 

He never should have had name suppression in the first place and when he was given it, it should have lapsed when he was sentenced. 

The reason it didn't is, ironically, suppressed. 

His lawyers have said they will appeal the name suppresion decision and so the sorry saga continues. A ruling might come next week or maybe next year. 

This will be the Millane family's third Christmas without Grace and the first without her father David Millane, who died this year of cancer. 

Christmas is a tough time when you are grieving. 

The build-up, when most people are getting into the festive spirit, is tortuous as you contemplate spending the ever-looming Christmas Day without those who died. 

The last thing the family needs is to have the man who murdered their daughter thrust back into the spotlight. 

This is what happens when the person who murdered someone you love gets convicted. 

Everyone - rightly so - is happy justice was served. 

But it doesn't bring that person back.

The happiness is bitter-sweet. 

Having the killer in prison means you can put the justice side behind you, but you are still deep in the depths of grief. 

It doesn't bring closure, just one less thing to deal with. You can forget about justice and get on with grieving.   

But when name suppression eventually lapses it will place the killer firmly back in the spotlight, and that is unfair on the family. 

This case has made a mockery of New Zealand's shambolic name suppression laws.  

The ongoing saga we often see in New Zealand around name suppression, as convicted criminals fight to retain it, just revictimises the family. 

All too often the focus is on the perpetrator, who as I am sure in the case of Millane's killer, enjoys it.

In its judgment released on Thursday the Court of Appeal said it was time for a dose of reality and the "curtains of suppression to be drawn back and the light of open justice allowed back in." 

The Millane family issued a statement saying they were pleased the Court of Appeal had rejected the appeal, but their pain will be revisited once more. 

The Supreme Court may decide next week, or maybe not until next year, if he loses his name suppression.

Either way the family will have to prepare themselves once again for name suppression lapsing and their daughter's killer again being in the media. 

Keeping the killer in the spotlight while his lawyers argue for name suppression makes a mockery of New Zealand's suppression laws, and adds further grief to a family already deeply in mourning. 

It's time to change them and in doing so, removing a layer of protection they never gave the victim.  

Mark Longley is Newshub digital's Managing Editor